The African National Congress has delivered a better life for all – but that life is not good enough. Citizens have grown tired of the lack of reliable basic necessities: water, sanitation, roads, effective healthcare, high quality education system, sustainable economic growth, and jobs.
Instead of enjoying a country that encourages aspiration and hope, a professional public service, innovation, and reconciliation. Young South African citizens are confronted with pervasive corruption and the incompetence and polarization of leaders in the country. Women continue to experience violence and abuse and men struggle to maintain their dignity and overcome their frustrations.
After months of listening to the citizens of this land, from villages to cities, from coast to coast, no matter their station in life nor their background, citizens have told Agang SA: Enough is Enough!
This manifesto responds to the dreams we have for this country, which are in turn founded on the hopes of the citizens of our beloved country.
Our turnaround strategy to build South Africa into the country of our dreams rests on five E’s:
Empowerment, Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment, and Effective governance.
Empowerment needs to be transformed so that there is less emphasis on scorecards and much more on inputs like quality schooling, safe communities, effective government, and sound health to empower every citizen. Twenty years of broad-based black economic empowerment has left us with a growing inequality in the most unequal society in the world. We find ourselves deeper in racially-based divisions. And poor people’s spirits are being killed by humiliation and dependency. Agang SA is committed to a consciousness raising of both white and black citizens. We will work with black citizens to regain their pride in their cultures and history. We will work with white citizens to acknowledge the generosity of black people in forgiving the past so our freedom could be born. We will work with white citizens to help them share more of their skills, expertise, and wealth in the building of South Africa.
We will empower citizens by:
- Emphasising education and skills development as the great leveller; there can be no empowerment without education and skills development;
- Ensuring safety for citizens so that economic empowerment goes hand-in-hand with the creation of dignified human settlements;
- Creating a philosophy in government of servant-leadership where public servants and leaders understand that the citizen must come first
- Understanding that a healthy nation can perform miracles; a sick nation that cannot access treatment cannot – we will ensure healthcare is accessible and affordable for everyone;
- We will ensure that government, as the largest landowner, transfers 50% of the land it has to satisfy the need for residential property development, and for the building and establishment of factories and other industrial properties, along with the need for commercial property usage – every citizen has to have title to the property they own;
- Through this land reform, we will empower citizens to use the land to return to farming and produce food so the country can overcome the food security challenge;
- Meaningful and extensive land reform has yet to take place in post-apartheid South Africa. In the mid-1990s, the African National Congress set itself the target of redistributing 30% of white-owned commercial agricultural land into black ownership. At present, however, less than 7% of this land has been transferred. Furthermore, in many cases where land restitution has taken place, it has been ineffective. Many of the problems lie in the implementation of the land restitution process, which has been adversely affected by institutional weaknesses in key implementing departments such as the Department of Land Affairs as well as budget limitations. Insufficient support for land restitution beneficiaries has also stunted the effectiveness of the land reform process. Agang SA believes that South Africa needs a land reform programme that addresses the multiple forms of dispossession that took place under apartheid. Inequality in South Africa was structurally created and structural remedies are required to undo it. We will reconceptualise the land reform process in South Africa by undertaking the following:
- We will facilitate the rapid transfer of land owned by the State at national, provincial and local levels so as to effectively address the land needs of both rural and urban populations.
- We will encourage the use of modern technology to grow industrial crops such as bamboo in order to detoxify compromised land in mining areas. Agang SA believes that industrial crops such as hemp, flax and soya offer promising opportunities for re-industrialisation and new job opportunities in both urban and rural areas.
- Create better access to job opportunities and access to public spaces and buildings for the disabled.
Education is the great leveler. It is key to the future of all citizens. We must aim to make high-quality education accessible and affordable to every citizen. Our youth must be inspired through leadership, to remain in school, and to steer clear from any cause that would take them away from learning. Our young people have to overcome the many obstacles that prevent them from achieving the best education
We will harness the power of education by:
- Making the school a source of pride in each community by creating a partnership between concerned parents, teachers, and Departments of Education, through enabling legislation that involves parents more in creating school policy and budgets;
- Improving the discipline of teacher training, open additional teacher training colleges, and hire new teachers to fill school vacancies;
- Provide allowances for teachers working in rural areas, particularly in mathematics and science;
- Develop teacher internship training opportunities for school graduates in high-performing schools;
- Introduce a 50% minimum pass mark for all subjects and grades;
- Conduct subject-specific competency testing of all teachers; and link pay increases and bonuses to competency and qualifications.
- We will eradicate mud schools, fix basic infrastructure and build libraries to provide proper learning environments.
- Introduce public service as a way to pay back free tertiary education;
Introduce new school systems such as “contract schools” to enable access to quality education;
- Instill a strong chain of accountability within the South African education system, with tracked and verifiable goals and responsibilities linked to clearly defined performance criteria;
- Provide bursaries for students who achieve grades of 70% or higher to incentivise and reward excellence.
- We will establish applied national and regional leadership institutes in education;
- We will ensure that all schools in South Africa are safe and protected environments;
- We will build greater technical and educational expertise and managerial and administrative capacity within the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) and provincial education departments.
- We will abolish the wasteful Sectoral Education and Training Authority (SETA) system and link FET colleges much closer to the industries they are to serve.
- We will ensure all schools are made accessible to children with disabilities and provide specialised teacher training.
Entrepreneurs need to be welcomed, and unleashed to create jobs and a growing economy. We need to remove the road blocks that stand in their way. We need to reduce bureaucracy, stimulate entrepreneurship, provide accessible and meaningful support and finance where it is needed, and ensure that property and intellectual rights are protected.
We will stimulate economic growth and unleash entrepreneurship by:
- Cutting the amount of red tape faced by small business by relaxing regulations (e.g. FICA, RICA);
- Changing the tax system to better support entrepreneurship;
- Strengthening competition law and industrial policy to eliminate barriers to entry, limits to competition and constraints on new investments;
Opening South Africa to foreign entrepreneurs who want to establish high growth businesses;
- Stopping the harassment of micro-businesses and informal traders
- Opening one-stop support and financing hubs to replace the large number of overlapping provincial and national government small business support organisations and agencies;
- Develop partnerships with banks and other financiers of small business so they operate through the one-stop hubs, directly in communities;
- Establishing joint government-industry ‘rapid review’ teams in key sectors to recommend policy and regulatory changes to unlock growth and job creation;
- Implementing sector specific skills development programmes and equipment/technology support mechanisms to encourage investment;
- Ensure that the government is focused on job creation by having a single economic plan and linking Ministers’ salaries to the attainment of job creation and economic growth targets;
- Reintroduce two-tier bargaining at both the industry and plant level so industry bargaining will establish industry minimum wage thresholds, while plant level bargaining will be used to set actual wages. Productivity bargaining will also be introduced at the plant level to ensure a greater link between productivity and wage increases in South Africa;
- Revise the Labour Relations Act to create provisions for secret strike ballots, a bilateral Unfair Labour Practice and good faith bargaining provision, loss of protected status for strikes which become violent, and union liability for damages in civil law;
- Ensure that workers hired through labour brokers enjoy substantially the same rights as directly employed workers;
- Improve the monitoring and enforcement of labour protections and standards through increased investment in the labour inspectorate;
- Protecting vulnerable workers through introducing a qualifying period for dismissal protection that is shorter for lower paid employees, and excludes executives and higher earning employees from ordinary dismissal protection (except in discrimination dismissals and other similarly serious categories of dismissal) subject to payment of a specified notice or severance payment.
Jobs are the essential ingredient of a winning nation. Government’s responsibility is to build a business environment that encourages job creation. Governments cannot create sustainable jobs without creating a bloated and expensive public sector. We will write service provisions that specify the use of local unemployed labour and ensure that labour intensive jobs are prioritised wherever possible. We envisage residential areas becoming a hive of activity of employed local citizens working to provide the necessary infrastructure for community services. We see a broadening of the skills base in the country to accelerate industrialisation and attract inward investment that will create business growth and job creation.
We will tackle unemployment by:
- Transforming the education system and placing an emphasis on skills training;
- Abolishing Skills Education Training Authorities (SETA’s) and introduce a tax rebate system for demonstrated training and development and reintroducing industry colleges to train artisans and provide the skills necessary for industrialisation;
- Converting some public schools into vocational schools so our youth have access to an education. They will need to be have transportable skills, that encourage entrepreneurship, and enable them to be successful in a growing economy;
- Establishing skills development programmes and fund on-the-job training for young South Africans struggling to enter the workforce;
- Requiring state-owned enterprises to spend a fixed amount of payroll on training and developing skills among South Africa’s youth;
- Mandating government departments to spend a portion of their infrastructure investments with local businesses, tradesmen, artisans, and labour;
- Introducing new opportunities and training programmes aimed at improving financial management and business skills among small business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Implement tough competition policy measures and other policy instruments to break down monopolies and cartels which raise prices, undermine entrepreneurship development and stifle innovation in our economy.
A developed and maintained national infrastructure is indispensable to a winning nation. To provide that infrastructure, local government needs to be empowered to deliver the basics of water, electricity and sanitation. Councillors need to be trained to ensure they have the necessary skills to manage local government institutions, and communities need to be more engaged with their local school, hospital or clinic, and police station. We see professional local government working closely with ordinary citizens to ensure that services are delivered on time, affordably, and with quality. We believe the private sector has a key role to play by partnering with local and national government where appropriate, with communities, and directly with schools, hospitals and police to ensure all available skills and resources are correctly deployed.
We will put citizens first by:
- Ensuring high quality healthcare by bringing in private doctors to run clinics, allowing these doctors to sign on patients that are part of the National Health Insurance, providing nurses and doctors with good working environments and the required equipment and medication;
- Demilitarising the police so that people learn to count on the police as their friends and not view them as a hostile extension of the government;
- Ensuring national security through securing the country’s borders, and developing good diplomatic relations with other countries through a foreign affairs policy that reflects our values;
- Reforming the public sector so that there is no place for corruption which is rampant across all three spheres of government and which saw R33 billion wasted in 2011/2012 through unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure.
- We will introduce the following reforms:
- A minimum sentence of 15 years for any public official found guilty of corruption regardless of the financial amounts involved, and a life ban from working in the civil service. This will be accompanied by a minimum sentence of 15 years for any member of the public found guilty of corrupting a public official regardless of the financial amounts involved;
- We will create a national register of public servants convicted of corruption;
- We will ban government officials and their families from conducting business with the state; and we will impose post-employment restrictions on ministers and senior government officials in order to regulate the move through the “revolving door” from government to business;
- We will create a culture of transparency in government by requiring MPs and their families to disclose their financial interests to the public and by training all government officials and employees in anti-corruption practices so there are no excuses for non-compliance.
- We will pass a whistle-blower law that rewards and protects the honest;
- We will introduce an entrance examination and clearly defined and articulated entrance standards for all incoming public servants.
- Agang SA will introduce a zero tolerance policy for corrupt officials who abuse and violate the public trust.
Agang SA’s turnaround plan for South Africa takes us beyond being second best. Citizens will benefit most from a growing economy that is driven by renewed investor confidence, accelerated inward investment, higher quality skills and education levels. The government’s role is to create an enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs and to create wealth.
We end this Manifesto with a Declaration:
We declare that we are fully accountable and transparent in the endeavors and actions that we have pledged to all South Africans in this manifesto.
Mamphela Ramphele is the Chairperson of Circle Capital Ventures Limited. She is the former Chairperson of Goldfields Limited. She is also an academic, businesswoman and medical doctor and was an anti-apartheid activist.
She was one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement, along with Steve Biko.Mamphela Ramphele was voted 55th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004. She is a former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town and a one-time Managing Director at the World Bank. She is currently serves as a Director of Medi-Clinic Corporation Limited and Business Partners.
In February 2013 she officially launched a new political party platform called Agang, which is Sesotho for ‘build’.
Telephone: 011 7185000
Physical Address:23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2017
Postal Address:PO Box 31817, Braamfontein, 2017
Party leader:Mamphela Ramphele